Monday, March 1, 2010

28 Day Challenge- Bookshelves!

What a mess! I am a little embarassed to show this but I have to be honest about where this shelf started. I started out by getting rid of 50 things. Between this project and a couple others in my room, I was able to get rid of over 250 items! The items that I donated are pictured below!

By repurposing baskets from other areas of my room and creating a function for each basket, I was able to create functional shelves! I could have gone all out and put a basket on every shelf for storage but I wanted space for photos and memories. I was able to completely empty one of the baskets so when I have a need for more space on my shelves, I will have a place for the items.

Please excuse the windows-- I live in an attic room without heat so the windows are covered with plastic. I will be making curtains next month!

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it?

My biggest challenge was purging. I have a big bedroom and it is easy to hold onto lots of stuff. I realized that it was taking me an extra 10 minutes to get ready every morning because I was walking all over my room, digging in piles of clothes trying to find something to wear. I work best with tangible goals so I decided to get rid of 50 things. In the end, I was able to get rid of over 250 items. Granted, some of these things were small like old lip glosses but bigger achievements included my entire magazine collection and getting rid of 42 underwear/bra/swimsuit pieces and thus clearing out my underwear drawers so that they actually close.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order?
I now have a designated place for things. I used to dump my items on the dresser or floor upon entering the room. Now I keep things in my arms and take a lap around my room and unload them into their correct space.

3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space?

After taking a picture so that I could remember how good it felt, I decided to donate everything. Some of the items I could have sold but I thought it was best to get them out of my house as quickly as possible so that I couldn’t change my mind.

4. What creative storage solutions were you able to introduce in order to create additional space as well as establish some limits and boundaries?

The thing that I am most proud of is repurposing items so that I did not buy any storage containers to organize my room. Containers can be so expensive so I wanted to prove that organizing did not need to be pricey. One example of a creative was when I found an old baby wipes container with dried out wipes and decided to take off the lid and use it to hold my pens instead of buying a container for them.

5. Why do you think you should win this challenge? I actually decided to challenge myself to take on one small organizing project for 28 days and created a blog to track my project. (I had some computer problems so I was not able to post towards the end but I did continue to complete projects.) February 28th marked the anniversary of my dad’s death, a day that I had been dreading for months. It was my goal to take control of the clutter that had built up by February 28th and make March 1st a fresh start with a positive attitude.

This experience has truly been life changing. I did not realize how draining it was to live in such a messy space. I now feel like I have more energy and time for the craft projects that have been wanting to do!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Photo Challenge- I Wanna Dance

Sweet Emma Grace turned 2 this weekend! These sparkly shoes were just made for dancing!

I thought this picture would be a great entry for the "I Wanna Dance" for the iheartfaces ( photo challenge. It is my first entry so we will see how it goes! Check out their website to see the other entries!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day #11- Jewelry

I have a jewelry organizer hanging on the inside of my "barn" door. It was organized and then it got too full and overflowed.
New Design:
I used pushpins to hang my necklaces on the door. With all of my necklaces in sight, it makes accessorizing much easier. It also allows me to have 1-2 items per divider and not stuffed full so that I can't see anything.

Pictures to be posted soon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day #10- Makeup

I went through my makeup and got rid of everything I could live without. Its amazing the things that were ever in "style." Sparkly pink eye shadow, purply lip gloss... I am happy to be rid of you! The funny thing about this is that I "cleaned" this area out about a month ago and only got rid of a few things. This time I had the mindset that if I did not foresee myself using it in the next two months, I was going to pitch it. In order to set a goal of how much to throw away, I set a small wooden drawer next to me and decided to fill it. Well what do you know, I started having so much fun and filled it up so fast that I grabbed another drawer and kept going. Not the most exciting picture in the world but I wanted to share my uncluttering success.

In the picture above, the drawer on the left is what I am keeping and the other two drawers I have already disposed of. Here is a picture of my newly organized vanity. Next step-- refinishing it and hanging the mirror!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

#9-Simple and Clean

This dresser is right inside my room and is a dumping zone when I need to empty my pockets or hands. Most of the items here I was able to throw away and the rest I relocated. The only thing left is a mirror with pretty edging that I grouped my perfume and lotion on. I need something on the wall above this area-- possibly a mirror hung by a bow. Ahhh... so simple and so clean.

Monday, February 8, 2010

#8- Start Fresh

I have plenty of shelving my bedroom and because of that I tend to keep too much stuff. In order to keep only things that I truly need, I pulled everything off the shelves and everything out of the baskets they were in so that I could start with a clean slate. It resulted in the shelves you see below. This is the beginning stage of the finished product-- I need to pick up a few baskets and hang some curtains for the completed look.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

#7- Group with similar items

Sometimes organizing bins aren't so organized. This bin holds all of my extra lotion, shampoo, and samples. The first thing that I did was take out all of the samples that could be used in the bathroom. Since this bin is kept in my room, it does me no good to keep shampoo in here since I will always use shampoo in the bathroom. The next thing that I did was place like items together within the bin. Ideally, it would be great to have two smaller baskets but I do not want to purchase any new baskets yet so I had to get creative with this one. I placed a tupperware container inside of the bin so that I could create three distinct areas. As you can see from the picture below, I was able to group like items together so that they will be easier to find and it is easier to see what I have so that I don't but duplicates.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

#6- DVD Storage

As you can see from this picture, the DVD's have made the living room look pretty cluttered. I remembered that I had a DVD storage unit at my mom's house that I was not using. I picked it up from her house today and was able to fit all of our DVD's in it. It was a win/win for both of us. I was able to gain storage without purchasing anything and I helped my mom declutter by getting this out.

Friday, February 5, 2010

#5- Write it down

Anyone else think that they can keep their calendar completely in their head? Doesn't always work does it? Today I updated my February Outlook calendar with both my personal and work calendars together. I color coordinated each activity and also synced it with Google calendar so that I can access it from home. My head feels much clearer and I will spend less time thinking about what I have to do each week and be able to plan out my evenings better.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

#4- Bathroom Shelving

I love the shelving unit that is in my bathroom. The family I used to nanny for gave me several pieces of furniture from Pottery Barn that they were no longer using. I share it with two roommates so each of us have a shelf. It was looking a bit cluttered and there is no hiding clutter with the glass front so I decided it was time to organize. The only organizational item that I added was a small melamine bowl on my shelf to catch my hair rubber bands and bobby pins.

Cleaning this out took only 5 minutes and it feels oh so good!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day #3- Put your purse on a diet

What a mess!

When thinking about my areas of my life that get the most cluttered, my purse is near the top of the list. Whenever I need to take something to work, I throw it in my purse. When I receive a receipt, I throw it in my purse. When I get a new lip gloss, I throw it in my purse. My record for most lip glosses in my purse at one time is 8. It is embarrassing to be in the checkout line and not be able to find my checkbook because there is too much stuff in my purse.

Purse Organization Plan... also known as my POP :)
1) Envelope for receipts so they are not scattered all over my purse and I can file them when I get home from shopping.
2) Put change in my wallet in order to limit the amount that I carry around
3) Have designated pockets for specific items so that they are easy to find.
4) Be a purse minimalist-- no more than 10 items!

Current Purse Weight- 4 lbs 11 oz.
Purse Inventory:
20 crinkled reciepts
10 Culver's coupons
9 chocolate turtles
5 earrings-- one lost its mate
4 hair rubber bands
3 lip glosses
3 ticket stubs
2 hair clips
2 blank Thank You cards
2 granola bars
2 checkbooks
1 pair of earphones
1 pearl necklace/bracelet
1 Ipod cord
1 Large brush
1 set of keys
1 cell phone
1 wallet
$3.21 worth of change

New Purse Weight- 2 lbs 10 ounces

New Inventory:

Bag for receipts, wallet, cell phone, keys, lip gloss, pen, checkbook, a few hair accessories contained in one pocket.

I lost 2 purse pounds. Now if dieting could be this easy...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day #2 Make a realistic to do list

When I get overwhelmed, I often make a to-do list. Not just any to-do list but I write down everything that I could possibly think of that needs to get done at some point in the next month.

Here is an example of a list for one day:

1) Make 6 batches of cookies
2) Edit 300 photos
3) Returns items to 5 different stores
4) Finish my scrapbooking projects
5) Clean the entire house
6) Do 4 loads of laundry
7) Iron an entire stack of clothes
and the list goes on and on

No wonder it feels like I never accomplish anything. Instead of continuing to make huge lists, I plan to now make realistic lists with between 5-10 small tasks.
Here is a revised list:

1) Buy ingredients to make cookies
2) Edit photos for 30 minutes
3) Return sweater to TJ Maxx
4) Finish one page in scrapbooking project
5) Clean the bathroom
6) Do one load of laundry
7) Iron clothes for 20 minutes

All of a sudden I feel much more motivated to accomplish these things, knowing that I can cross something off of my list. I may not get to every item on my list today but at least then I will start with those things when I made tomorrows list. I had a friend in college who was so scheduled that she would actually write down "Take Shower" and "Eat Lunch." Of course we gave her a ridiculously hard time for this but it worked for her.

Here is my list for today. Since it is a work day, I have written only things I plan to accomplish after work.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Why I have decided to unclutter in 28...

2010... time for New Years resolutions...blah, blah, blah. Know what my two goals are every year? Exercising and getting organized. So far exercising is going well. I mean, give it another week or two until I am burnt out but it is February, aka National Chocolate month, after all so dieting goes out the window. Why does getting organized seem so overwhelming and why do I seem to fail each year? (Also, why is it that if you do fail, you find that the best solution is to wait until the following January to try again.) Failing generally comes down to not having a plan. I love looking at Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, Pottery Barn magazines, etc. but getting my house to look like that seems like it is miles away. Because I am not willing to spend lots of money on new furniture and organizing systems to get this look, does this mean I can never reach my goal? Maybe I need to set a more realistic goal. Here it is...drum roll please... I want life to be simple... I want my living spaces to be clean... and I want to be reenergized.

How am I going to get there? For the next 28 days, I will implement one organizing element or tip into my life each day and post my results. So why 28 days beginning in February?
1) It look me a month to get motivated to start my New Years Resolution.
2) February is cold and boring... so why not spend my time inside now so that I can be outside when the weather is nice?
3) I am have been wanting to join the blogging world for awhile and I don't have kids to dote over so organizing is a good excuse.
4) Just to prove that it is possible to begin organizing in a month other than January.
5) February has 28 days and 28 days is two less days than any other month and therefore less work. See... my procrastinating has paid off.